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OITE RESILIENCE DISCUSSION GROUPS

OITE offers several groups to develop and bolster the resilience of the trainee population through discussions with each other. These groups are drop in spaces that are meant to be an open and supportive space for trainees to be in community and explore topics relative to their professional and personal needs. Through community building, reflection, and skill development, trainees are able to tap into their resilience. The discussions are facilitated by a wellness advisor; however, the content is driven by then needs of the trainees.

Jump to resilience group descriptions

 

WHAT IS RESILIENCE?

“Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.” Psychology Today

WHAT IS A RESILIENCE DISCUSSION GROUP?

Resilience groups are a welcoming space to explore life's ups and downs and work in a positive and proactive way to build resilience with peers and a wellness advisor. Although most of the facilitators are trained and licensed counselors, these groups are not therapy sessions and are largely guided by the trainee group and their subsequent discussion.

WHO ARE THE FACILITATORS?

Resilience discussion groups are facilitated by trained wellness advisors. To learn more about the facilitator, check out their bios.

ARE THE RESILIENCE DISCUSSION GROUPS CONFIDENTIAL?

The resilience groups are a confidential space. Facilitators maintain the privacy of trainees and participants are asked keep information shared in the session confidential.

WHO CAN ATTEND RESILIENCE DISCUSSION GROUPS?

NIH postbacs, graduate students, and postdocs/fellows can attend discussion groups, but there are some groups in which the topics will be more applicable to and focus on specific training populations.

HOW CAN I JOIN A RESILIENCE GROUP?

For specific upcoming session information, please visit the Upcoming Events page. Virtual meeting links are provided in the daily listserv emails from OITE@mail.nih.gov/. If you are not on an official OITE listserv, you can sign up here.


QUICK LINKS

Upcoming Events
Facilitator Bios

RESILIENCE Group DESCRIPTIONS

Addictive behaviors
Anxiety, Depression and Other Challenges
Being Assertive and Having Difficult Conversations
Coping with COVID Winter and Uncertainty
Connecting at the Holidays
Grad Students
International Trainees
Job Search Stress
LGBTQIA+ Trainees
Loss and Transition
Managing Academic Stressors
Managing Imposter Fears and Cognitive Distortions
Self-compassion 
Trainees of Color 

Unhealthy Habits

 

Addictive Behaviors: First Friday of every month

Habits are hard to break and when we are faced with a monumental shift in our day to day lives, isolation from whom and what we love, and fear about the future, we are likely to rely on habits even more than usual.  If you are struggling to make sense of your own addictive behaviors, this internal fight may be particularly challenging while physically distancing from others. Using research on habit change, along with some compassionate support, you can gain the tools you need to develop a happier and healthier you and thrive in our new version of normal.

Anxiety, Depression, and Other Challenges: Weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays, alternating days/times

Mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD/ADD, ASD sometimes occur as natural systems become dysregulated and they can often exacerbate each other. While experiencing the effects of anxiety and depression may be overwhelming, there are ways to manage and work with these feelings. Come share your thoughts and learn from each other’s experiences in dealing with anxiety, depression, and other challenges.

Being Assertive and Having Difficult Conversations: Every other week on Tuesday/Fridays, alternating days/times

We all experience occasional conflicts within our professional and personal lives – they are inevitable – but we may not all approach them the same way. Sometimes we want to avoid or delay a difficult conversation while the other person may feel like it is more urgent. These interpersonal conflicts can be particularly stressful and are inherently difficult to resolve because multiple people are involved. However, there are communication tools that can help create a more positive interaction and outcome for everyone. Let’s talk about some of the conflicts you may be dealing with now or conflicts that you have experienced in the past – what helped and what didn’t? Would you approach it differently now?

Coping with COVID Winter and Uncertainty: Every other Wednesday

As the winter approaches, the colder weather, shorter days, and social distancing will begin to present us with new challenges for our wellness. Additionally, the persistent feelings of uncertainty about the future continue to trouble many of us. Just as we were beginning to develop some semblance of a routine and learning to cope with this uncertainty, a COVID winter may disrupt them again. This discussion will focus on how to reevaluate coping tools for the winter and continued uncertainty.  

Connecting at the Holidays

Holidays are often a time when we connect with loved ones, celebrate our religion/cultural connections, and rejuvenate. However, due to current events or individual circumstances, maybe your plans to celebrate with loved ones have been cancelled, you are currently residing far away from those you care about, or your places of worship have been closed.  It is quite common to experience changes in mood when feeling physically, emotionally, or spiritually isolated from your families, friends, and communities even more so during the holidays. Join us to build connections, celebrate your traditions, and be present with others.

Grad Students: First Tuesday of every month

Pursuing a graduate degree is a challenging and rewarding endeavor of its own, but it often takes place during periods of rapid growth both personally and professionally. With so many things to juggle in graduate school it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and sometimes disconnected especially if there are unresolved interpersonal issues. Recent events have also increased levels of uncertainty with the added challenge of being physically distant from mentors, mentees, lab mates, friends, and family. Join us for a chance to discuss the unique challenges you face as graduate students and to learn how to manage them by talking to each other.

International Trainees: First and third Thursdays of the month

International trainees often face a unique set of challenges. Whether it is the distance from family and home, learning a new culture, visa stress, or discovering a new sense of community, these challenges can cause fellows to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or lonely. This supportive space is meant to remind trainees that they are not alone in dealing with these issues and that there are other trainees having similar experiences.  Additionally, the group offers space to dialogue around U.S. culture, coping tools and to learn from each other.

Job Search Stress: Second and fourth Tuesday/Thursdays of the month, alternating days/times

Networking, career planning, and job searches take an enormous amount of time and energy, with many ups and downs throughout. The coronavirus pandemic adds layers of difficulty to this process. When folks are in the process, the focus is often on the search itself rather than the emotional and psychological stressors that come along. This discussion group offers trainees the opportunity to be supported while navigating the challenges of job searching and to develop their stress management and self-care skills. Whether you are just beginning to build your network or are in the final negotiations for a new job, it is always a good time to build resilience and self-care practices that will help you successfully navigate through periods of transition and change. 

LGBTQIA+ Trainees: Third Thursday of every month

Please join this warm and welcoming group of LGBTQI+ trainees to enjoy a safe space and be yourself. Let’s share our unique resources, experiences, and challenges to help us feel connected and supported as an NIH trainee. Whether you are feeling isolated, unsure or just want to expand your community, this LGBTQI+ group is for you.  Labels are less important than your feeling connected to our community; come join us wherever you are on your own personal journey. 

Loss and Transition: Second and fourth Tuesday/Thursdays of the month, alternating days/times

Grief comes in many forms and the process of grieving is uniquely individual. Regardless of where you are in your process we can talk about ways to move forward. The current state of the pandemic has led to widespread feelings of loss and uncertainty which can compound our other feelings of grief and loss. In this group, we can talk about the experience of loss, significant change, and/or transition. Being mindful of our feelings is one way to start processing grief, but we call also share other coping strategies and brainstorm together. 

Managing Academic Stressors: Second and fourth Fridays of every month

So many of our postbacs are currently studying for and worried about MCATs, GREs, and other standardized tests coupled with applications and interviews. The pandemic has also brought many changes to the current testing and application season. Not only are these changes beyond our control, but the uncertainty of how they will impact our carefully made plans for applying to graduate or professional school can be stressful. This groups allows trainees to discuss with each other how to build their resilience and self-care skills so that they can cope effectively during this stressful time and ultimately reach their career goals. 

Managing Imposter Fears and Cognitive Distortions: Every other Wednesday

We all have patterns of thinking that are unhelpful and sometimes distorted and they often become our habitual way of interacting with the world. These false beliefs are usually self-limiting and self-defeating which can negatively impact us both professionally and personally. At times, these thoughts cause many of us to feel less confident and knowledgeable than we really are – so we feel like an imposter or that we do not belong. Let’s talk about how to recognize these negative thought patterns and make positive changes.  This session will help you to explore strategies for facing and minimizing negative thoughts, identifying positive qualities, and communicating in a more assertive and confident manner.  

Self-compassion: Third Thursday of every month

Most of us spend more time in our heads or talking to ourselves than we will ever spend talking with others. Would you say to others, a good friend for example, the types of things you say to yourself? Using the principles of self-compassion, we’ll examine how the messaging we give ourselves impacts our feelings, mood, outlook, and success. By holding more compassion for ourselves, we make room to welcome greater understanding that is rooted in kindness for us and those around us. Join our conversation as we explore opportunities to understand what self-compassion is and how you can put it to work for you!

Trainees of Color : Second and fourth Mondays of every month

The Trainees of Color discussion group offers a warm and welcoming environment for trainees to engage in a safe space. Through the sharing of unique challenges and experiences, building community, and celebrating difference this groups helps trainees feel connected and supported during their time at NIH. Whether you are feeling isolated, unsure or just want to expand your community, this group is for you.  This session is open to trainees at all levels. 

Unhealthy Habits: Third Friday of every month

Habits are hard to break.  Are you tired of your unhealthy habits bringing you down?  Some of these unhealthy habits could include excessive cellphone use, indulging in comfort foods, or constantly thinking about work after work hours. Come to a safe space where habit building and modifying is the shared challenge and focus point.  Using research on habit change, along with some compassionate support, you can gain the tools you need to develop a happier and healthier you and thrive in our new version of normal.